These days, we’ve got DVDs, CDs, MP3s and the world wide web for all our music desires. But not one of these would be possible without the advent of the record player, one of the most important components of entertainment electronics ever. It was so pioneering that after its invention in 1877, almost one hundred years went by just before it was replaced by newer technology. And still today, record players have a vintage musical feel, which ensures they are still extremely popular with music aficionados around the globe. Read more to know the popularity of record players amonst people. Today, anytime someone thinks of a turntable, it’s often the Technics or perhaps the Crosley record player that comes to mind. Though over one hundred years ago, the name which most mattered was Thomas Edison.
Back in 1877, Thomas Edison developed what he called the phonograph. His very first records had been produced on tinfoil. These records had a spiral groove which went along the surface area. A hand-cranked machine which had a pen, or stylus, was used to read the grooves of the disc, vibrating based on the feel. This became eventually called the hill-and-dale method. The vibrations would run up the stylus, through a metal tube, all the way to a large speaker. The speakers made the vibrations into much more audible sound.
At the time Thomas Edison completed his creation, he was much more interested in its numerous scientific applications as opposed to the fact that it was perfect for the reproduction of music. This left further improvements to other scientists.
A decade later, Emile Berliner invented the disk record and patented it in 1896. Berliner’s design took its origin from Edison’s, but instead of using the hill-and-dale method, where the grooves went up and down, his method, referred to as the different lateral direction method, had textures on the edges of the grooves. The varying later direction (VLD) caught on very quickly, and very soon Edison’s original hill-and-dale method was no longer in use.
It wasn’t long before mass production of disc records became feasible when Emile Berliner invented the matrix record. This master copy enabled duplicate records to be created indefinitely. At this point, players were still running off of the power of the hand crank. But when the late 19th century rolled around, so did electricity. Soon after the electronic record player was released. Contrary to the hand-cranked record players that would vary in speed based on the strength of the person, electronic players provided consistent speed. This meant that there was zero variation in the music’s tempo.
New Era of MP3 & CD’s
In due course, record players grew to be so well liked that entire families gathered around them to take pleasure in quality entertainment. Early versions of the prior song and next song features of today’s MP3 and CD players were also made around this time. To be able to select which track was to play, a listener placed the needle in one of the new grooves in between the textured ones. And for many years, the record player was a personal possession of music fans everywhere.
With the advent of the nineteen seventies came tape decks and 8-tracks, and soon after that, records and their players had some competition. However, when disk jockeys became all the rage in dance clubs and discos, the record player remained strong.